Why I’m Over Beer Reviews…

Ok ok ok… I dont hate beer reviews, in fact I like knowing what people enjoy and I like people recommending beer to me. But there is a limit and we have hit that limit without a doubt. We clearly live in a world where pedanticness=credibility and that is just plain wrong. We also live in a world where a lot of people drink craft beer but don’t know much about it… and thats ok, as long as you don’t try to shove content down my throat telling me about how good that 3 month old pale ale with galaxy dry hops is (its not good, it tastes of little, and I don’t care what you think).

First lets start positive…

How to do it right:

Have an angle… Craft beer, especially in Canada, is very regional and in many cases is confined to a town. Which means it doesn’t matter how well you compare the malt profile to a specific biscuit from the the former Yugoslavia. It means sweet F all to anyone but those people living in that town, all 5 craft beer drinkers from 100 Mile house hanging out at Jackson’s Social Club And Brew House (I googled that because seriously no one has heard of it). Seriously it doesn’t matter if you are the Robert Frost of beer reviews, you are boring as hell.

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 6.14.21 PM.png
“Nothing Gold can Stay” and neither can you with your description of the hop profile on your Belgian IPA as a dried durian on a cool midwestern summer evening.

That means how the beer tastes isn’t interesting enough on its own because I cannot get it. How do you make it more interesting?

Have an angle… and tell me what that angle is… Its not enough to have an angle, state it, or at the very least it should be clear what your angle is from your writing. What makes your blog about reviews interesting? Why do you happen to have an affinity for porters but hate all pale ales? If its not clear to me, I don’t care what you have to say…

Some People do this well… The Beer Rater for example clearly states his angle and I can situate his reviews in relation to myself, see here:

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 6.17.04 PM.png

http://thebeerrater.com/how-i-rate/

As you can see The Beer Rater has clearly defined what he is doing, now you have a point of reference from which to decide how seriously you can take their opinion.

A lot of people do this quite well, off the top of my head I would mention BarleyMowat.com who explains his rating system, Mikescraftbeer.com who simply gives you a quick run down of the flavour profile allowing you to decide if you like it or not and many others.

 What not to do…

Talk about beer and expect everyone to be at the same level as you…

Here’s the thing a lot of beer writers and reviewers know about beer, but few know exactly the same amount about beer. They talk and talk and talk ad nauseum about noses, flavours, profiles and balance but they don’t think about their readers and viewers. They don’t realize that people aren’t coming to know what the beer tastes like:

“Because if you know anything about beer, you know a beer brewed in Port Moody and consumed a month later in Edmonton tastes a helluva a lot different than one consumed in Kelowna from the discount bin 8 months after brewing.”

Not to mention, y’know, everyones palates are different and have biases. Rather than give interesting angles or perspective many reviewers these days simply try to cover up the lack of interest with slick production values which is cool, i guess, if you like video production…

For example:

These guys seem like nice people they have a lot of cool videos that i check out regularly and recommend you do to, but beer reviews, man they are hard to do in an interesting way… For example, he goes back and forth on calling an ESB an Extra STRONG Bitter and an Extra SPECIAL Bitter (its the latter). Then he goes onto say he doesn’t know much about styles, and then for some reason he expects the viewer to take him seriously? I mean what is the angle here? How is the video adding interest? It might be interesting if he said I know little about this beer and I recommend it to people in the same boat. But nah, … My favourite part is how he says he likes Arrowhead beer because they brew with the local water… as if brewers are importing water or using Dasani or something… C’mon.

That said  cool beer wall, nice video production… solid beard. I’m sorry for being a jerk and hope we can be friends in the future. Check out these guys other videos, like this one:

Kettle River Press Release

I usually focus on the Tri-Cities and Lower mainland but I love the Punk Rock DIY-ness of this so I’m posting it:

Kettle RiverBrewing is Expanding!

The locally and independently owned, Kettle River Brewing Co, is expanding! They’re looking for community involvement to help fundraise via a crowd-funding campaign on the popular site, Indiegogo.

Located in the North End of Kelowna BC, they do very small beer runs and have proudly brewed over 200 batches since opening in July of 2016. Being a small team (only 4, including the founders!) with a strong DIY-ethos, everything in the brewery has been built by them. In fact, most of the brewery, including everything from the equipment to the barn wood bar is second-hand or recycled parts.

The current, tiny 1bbl brewing system, handmade out of used tea tree oil tins and dairy parts, is not sufficient for the current growth rate and public demand. To keep up, they’ve ordered  a new 5bbl brewing system (5x the beer!) but still need to pay for the rest of it, including all installation costs to get it operational. Additionally, to prepare for the Okanagan summer, they’ve started the process of getting a licensed patio out front, including upgrading their tasting lounge license to a lounge endorsement. The success of this would mean customers can enjoy more than one sample glass, outside in the sunshine!

To achieve these goals, the campaign is looking to fundraise up to $30,000 with $20,000 covering the remaining cost of buying and installing the new 5 bbl brewing system, and $10,000 to cover building upgrades, re-zoning for the licensed patio.

Beyond the typical brewery fundraiser perks, such as branded swag, bonus beer, a learn-to-brew day, they’ve included tickets to a Brewhouse Backers Banquet beer 4 course dinner; a “buy-a-brick” option where you can decorate one of the bricks in the wall of the brewery; a portrait painted by a local artist and hung in the brewery, and a custom KRBC kegerator, supplied with beer for a year. To find out more you can visit the fundraiser page: https://igg.me/at/krbc or call us at 250-862-5115.

To celebrate, Kettle River has partnered with Groove Garden Records to have a Mini-Record Store Pop-up Shop day, Sat. March 25th. We’ll be raffling off artwork, vinyl grab bags, special bottles like the bourbon choc. milk stout, brewery swag like fill vouchers, hats etc and will have some special draft on for samples.

Mariner Brewing From the Source

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 10.55.51 PM.png

I’ve got the low down on Mariner brewing, but rather than tell you i’ll let Byron of Mariner Brewing explain:

“We are located at H-1100 Lansdowne Drive in a unit facing the highway! We’re working through the building permit with the City and have our space all prepared for construction already. We’re on schedule to open this summer!

      From a brand and design perspective, some of our concepts are posted on our Instagram (MarinerBeer) and we’ll continue to update that as we make progress.
      For beer, there are so many great breweries that we’ve learned from, it’s hard to narrow it down to a few. Locally we’ve taken the most inspiration from Four Winds, Yellow Dog, and Field House. In terms of modern beer we most admire Yellow Dog’s Play Dead IPA and Steamworks Flagship IPA.  We also really admire Four Winds whole Eurus Series, Bellwood’s Jelly King, Breakside Wanderlust, and numerous classic imports including Gulden Draak and Bitburger, each for their own reason.
    We have our brewer on board and we’re super excited about them. They’ve got a lot of experience, are a recognized name in the region, and they’re as excited as we are to bring craft beer to Coquitlam. We’ll be able to reveal their name in about a month.
Cheers,
Byron”
There you have it, straight from the source

Stuff you Possibly, maybe, might want to know.

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 9.42.02 AM

Here we go, rapid fire stuff because i’ve been busy with life for a while.

-Mariner Brewing, is poised to be the first brewery open in coquitlam. Life has gotten in the way but i’m just waiting to make contact and get the ok before I post location etc.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/marinerbeer/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/marinerbeer/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/marinerbeer

-Northpaw brewing was very close to securing a spot but unfortunately it fell through and they remain on the hunt. Even so, things are moving ahead. They have been pouring at a couple festivals and have merch available, i have a shirt, its great you should too!

http://northpawbrewco.com

https://www.instagram.com/northpawbrewco/

-Beyond that #BrewersRow is humming along. This year’s charity brew has been brewed at Moody Ales. I believe next year it will be Twin Sails but who Knows

-Finally we are now available on the Instagrams… follow us… or don’t… I’m not going to tell you how to live your life…

https://www.instagram.com/brewardinlet/Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 6.37.57 PM.png

 

 

 

 

Hit/Miss Guide to BC New England/Vermont/East Coast IPA

See your way out kettle sours, there is a new style in town, whose name is hard to pin down and who likes things opaque… the New England/Vermont/East Coast IPA. This new style is pushing the scene forward and i have been searching them out as fast as I can to get the freshest “JUICE”. If you want to get in on it, take a look of my hits and misses.

Ok, what typifies this style? Well it depends what circles you run in but relative a west coast IPA the New England/Vermont/East Coast IPA is:

often more diverse in grain bill, and therefore could result in a more balanced beer.

very often very opaque, often more so than a wheat beer, this occurs for many reasons. It could be due to different grains leaving more micro-sediments in the beer, it could be the yeast by the brewer, it could be fruit particles, in most cases its due to the large amount of dry hopping or lupulin powder.

often fruit is added to accentuate flavour, and occasionally lactose is added (milkshake IPA) to play with the sweetness further.

Often they taste much less bitter than your west coast IPA.

So, they are supposed to look like this:

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 11.29.39 AM.png
Photo Credit @BrewsBabesBanny

Don’t Forget this beers are best fresh and can often sell out so here are the ones worth searching out and here are… some others

MUST DRINKS!

Super Flux Shape and Colour– OK, I must admit this is the only one one on the list i haven’t got my hands on… but thats because its gone nearly as quickly as its released. Even so, its had near universal acclaim from those lucky enough to get some. So, if you get some let me know.

screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-11-34-37-am
credit-@superfluxbeer

Boombox Brewing- A spiritual successor to Machine/Superflux (at least in my head), brewing out of Callister is Boombox. Boombox doesn’t only do Juice Bomb East Coast ETC IPAs, but they usually have one on tap. I’ve had enough to know that when I see “Boombox” and “NE” near each other its a definite Pint. Releases happen on wednesday… get there.

 

screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-11-39-39-am
credit- @boomboxbrewing

Twin Sails Brewing pretty much all their tall can releases- A BREWard Inlet staple that totally reinvented itself Twin Sails has released a plethora of Hazy Juice bombs since summer time with no signs of stopping. In fact words a new line of beers will start to be released tasting room only, making the beers even rarer. Personal Favourites include Space Armadillo, Slam Dank, and newly released in collaboration with Boombox Brewing Tone Def.

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 11.45.51 AM.png
credit- @carnellsitka

Steamworks Flagship IPA- This BC beer of the year is the only juice bomb sold as a 6 pack and perhaps is the best suited to be sessioned. This Hazey IPA is in my opinion a better bridge from the west coast style than the others mentioned here, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pack a juice punch. Its also likely the most widley available so if you are new to Juice, start here.

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 11.50.13 AM.png
credit-@steamworksbeer

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Yellow Dog High 5 Hazy IPA- I’m not sure if this one is still around, but if it is its worth having. I personally feel the first batch was better than the second but both are great beers. This one, when it is around, is also available in cans.

Bridge East Coast IPA- All I remember about this one is i liked it. Wish i could be more specific.

misses…

I hate to do this, but at this point early in the Hazy game i’d stay away from these guys… or convince your buddy to buy it for the bottle share… anyways…

R and B – Milk Shake IPA

Field House –  East Coast IPA

Bridge – The Fuzz

Upcoming Tri-cities Breweries-UPDATED-FEB 3- 2 confirmed Coquitlam Breweries

Wow what can happen in 2 days! I am now aware of a second coquitlam brewery that should open before Northpaw… Little is known but I’m trying to make contact asap.

Name: Mariner Brewing

Projected opening: First in Coquitlam

Progress: Unknown but must be fairly far along.

Notes: I’m looking for contact

 

 

Name: Northpaw Brew Co.

Projected opening: Unknown

Progress: Suggestion of leased space in coquitlam

Notes: https://www.facebook.com/northpawbrewco/?ref=nf

 

 

Name: Brewery formerly known as District 43

Projected opening: June 2017

Progress: looking for a space

Notes: Looking for a new name hope to open in Coquitlam schoolhouse area.

 

 

Name: Prototype brewing

Projected opening: 2018?

Progress: dead in the water?

Notes: Hoped to open in a commercial space but Coquitlam zoning did not allow for them at the time, their website hints to 2018.

 

 

 

CONFIRMED: Coquitlam’s First Brewery

Breward Inlet can confirm that Coquitlam’s first brewery is on its way (The yet to be renamed District 43 is apparently still developing but unconfirmed)! Having spoken with a representative of the company it is suggested the the City of Coquitlam has OK’d the brewery and they have plans to attends several events in the short term including Poco Blues Fest as well as the Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival. Moreover, a tap takeover could be occurring too. Until then take look at some of their branding.

 

Beer and Breweries of the Year

The Brewers Row Beers and Brewery of the year. There were 50 responses to the poll and despite some surprising results I am happy with the sample size. Honourable mentions were given when the first runner up was within one vote of the winner…

Every Brewery on the Row won or was an honourable mention which shows the quality of this place!

Without further Adieu…

Best Brewers Row Core Beer

-YELLOW DOG PLAY DEAD IPA

It wasn’t even close, this is without a doubt THE BEER of Brewers Row

141029_yllw_logo_diamond_yellow_med

Best Limited Brewers Row Beer release (the choices given are the respective top rated beers from each brewery according to untapped)

-TWIN SAILS SPACE ARMADILLO DOUBLE IPA

The first of a few wins for Twin Sails… Props to Moody Ales Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout, which also did well.

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-10-59-52-am

Best Branding

-TWIN SAILS

This win surely comes on the back of the tall can releases

Yellow dog followed a little behind

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-10-59-52-am

Best Tasting Room

Finally some intrigue, I was sure PARKSIDE would win this category but alas the came just short and win the Honourable Mention

qyksgeo5

Surprise, Surprise the winner is:

TWIN SAILS

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-10-59-52-am

Best Customer Service

Another close one but MOODY ALES grabs an Honourable Mention nod congrats!

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 12.40.50 PM

But once again TWIN SAILS wins by one vote!

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-10-59-52-am

IPA is King in BC which was the best of the year on Brewers Row? (top rated IPA on untappd with more than 150 ratings is listed for each brewery)

Its not even close TWIN SAILS SPACE ARMADILLO IS KING! hopefully it comes back soon!

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-10-59-52-am